The Government and 48 early years sector representative bodies have submitted their responses to the EYFS Reforms consultation, which received a total of 2,452 responses in total.
The Government’s response can be read here, in full, but in summary, following the consultation, the Department for Education has stated:
- It would make a number of changes to the Reformed Education Programmes.
- The Communication and Language programme will remain as originally proposed.
- The proposed changes to the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) will go ahead.
- The ELGs for Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Physical Development; and Literacy will remain as proposed.
- The proposal to remove the statutory duty for local authorities to moderate the EYFSP in 25% of schools each year will go ahead.
- Schools will still be required to submit EYFSP data to their local authority and this will still be collected nationally.
- The government will proceed with plans to remove the “exceeding” judgement criteria from the EYFSP and says that this will “free up teachers’ time”.
- Teachers will be expected to continue to identify and stretch more able children.
- A need to include oral health alongside the requirement to “promote the good health of children” will be added to the EYFS framework.
- Individual settings and schools will need to determine how to meet this requirement and practitioners will not be required to assess this.
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, commented: “We’re incredibly disappointed by the DFE’s response to the EYFS consultation released today. At every stage of the process, well-informed and constructive contributions were submitted from a variety of experts in early years development and they have almost entirely been ignored by the government.
“The government have been repeatedly warned about the risks of shifting towards a narrow and overly formal approach to early years practice. However, this response continues to ignore the widely acknowledged fact that a child’s development is best served from a broad, well-rounded and holistic approach to early years education, not by a rigid framework which restricts the positive impact childminders, nurseries and pre-schools can have on a child’s development. We urge the government to re-examine the consultation submissions, listen to the expert and majority views and work with the sector to deliver EYFS reforms which truly enhance the learning and development of our young children, not constrain it.”
Stella Ziolkowski, NDNA’s Director of Quality and Training, said: “We welcome the fact that there’s a lot of time for the sector to take on board the changes that are being proposed.
“It is disappointing that the Department for Education hasn’t responded to the sector’s concerns, for example the removal of the early learning goal space, shape and measure which is integral to maths and its concepts. This could create less emphasis on teaching and we are concerned that in time this could lead to a future skills gap.
“The practical detail will be important so the sector will want to see what will be said in the revised Development Matters. This will be an important tool in supporting the sector and practitioners in delivering the new EYFS. We urge the DfE to engage with the sector through this review.